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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

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Lenovo reveals Google glass competitor
AFP
July 25, 2014
First Published: 16:28 IST(25/7/2014)
Last Updated: 16:31 IST(25/7/2014)

Displaying its smart glasses for the first time in prototype form in its native China on Thursday, the company is hoping to attract developers' and manufacturers' attention ahead of an official launch in October.

Lenovo wants to make its take on smart glasses, called the C1, the central hub of the connected home or office of tomorrow.

Although the jury is still out on how or why smart headsets can prove themselves more useful or indispensable to the average consumer than a smartphone for most day-to-day connected activities, focusing on just one task -- managing an ever-growing number of other devices and home appliances -- could be a good idea.

Rather than fish around in a pocket for a smartphone and scroll through screens to find the right app just to unlock a door or turn on the lights, simply looking at the lights while wearing a headset might prove much more intuitive.

That's part of Lenovo's vision. However, the Internet of Things might still be a high-tech niche, a market very much in its early stages, but that hasn't stopped a host of disparate, connected devices rolling out over recent months, many of which are incompatible with each other.

And that's why the C1 glasses are just one element of Lenovo's plan. It wants to bring some interoperability and compatibility to the market and so is also launching a new platform called NBD.

More than just some software for aiding devices to talk to each other, it is also a research and development fund, a source of high-tech expertise and a portal where companies can access everything from hardware to logistics support in order to develop products aimed initially at the Chinese market and that will work with the C1 smart glasses.

According to PC World, which attended the unveiling in China, the NBD platform is already helping US smart headset firm Vuzix, to market its products to Chinese consumers and businesses and to attract developers who will create country-specific apps.

As for the C1 headset itself, Lenovo hasn't issued any official images of the device and is being very secretive about its specifications. Like Google Glass, it has a front-facing camera and a prism display but the battery is contained within a section worn around the neck.

It has, however, confirmed that more information will be revealed in October.


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